At the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup, the Indian cricket team will be doing their bit for the environment just by way of what they wear.
“The kit is made out of 100 per cent recycled polyester. An average of 15 recycled plastic bottles were used to create the jersey, and around 18 recycled plastic bottles to create the pants,” says Rachel Goldner, senior product line manager, Nike.
The sports brand is the latest on a list of designers and labels that are producing eco-friendly wares — be it recycled or upcycled. Another recent introduction is péro Upcycle by Delhi-based designer Aneeth Arora, whose clients send her garments that are worn out or just need a new look for refurbishment.
“It started with my own jacket that I didn’t want to discard. I’d keep adding trinkets to it and people would ask me about it. They’d say that they had a plain, black jacket that they’d worn a lot, but since it fit well, they didn’t want to part with it,” says Arora, adding, “Those who have blind faith in us, leave the garment here. We add stuff like buttons or reverse layers to a jacket.”
While the customers go home with their garments sporting a new look, the designer uses up her leftover fabrics from previous seasons in a great manner — thereby reducing wastage.
Pune-based Karishma Shahani Khan of the label Ka-Sha has also adopted a zero-waste policy for one of her lines, wherein no bits of textile are discarded, irrespective of size. End-of-line fabrics are worked back into products, and sometimes, knitting is done using plastic strips.
Meanwhile, leather goods brand Hidesign’s annual Art Of Reuse project has grown leaps and bounds since it was initiated in 2011. One can pick up a kit — with leather scraps, needle and thread — and upcycle the material into a bag, necklace, and more.
“We started with 500 kits, and in our last edition, we produced 1,000 kits, from which we received 600-700 entries. Among them is a doctor couple from Chennai, who added some of their own material and made a laptop bag and a small handbag, and a scientist enthusiastically created a small leather pouch,” says Dilip Kapur, president of the brand that also follows an Everyday Green initiative, which involves creating trays, waste baskets, stools and other products out of scrap leather.
When it comes to bags, another interesting project is by Delhi-based couple Shaleb and Anita Ahuja, who have been collecting and recycling household as well as industrial waste since 1998. Through their NGO, Conserve India, they have plastic bags cleaned and pressed without melting them or adding chemical dyes to render them useful for making bags and wallets. The duo has been creating several bags for export ever since. However, the 2010 Common-wealth Games in Delhi — from where they used trash to create a special line of bags that were sold at a premium — remains a high point.
And if apparel and bags don’t appeal to you, check out the Green The Gap website or visit Pedder Road’s The Upcycle Store, where you can pick up some knick-knacks for your home.